The insurance industry needed a good 2018 – The Carr Fire in California is the worst in the state’s history.
In Northern California, the Carr Fire has burned at least 110,154 acres since Monday 23rd July and is reported to have claimed at least six lives according to media reports and Cal Fire.
The cause of the fire was a “mechanical failure in a vehicle.” To date over 38,000 people have been evacuated due to the fire.
It has been reported that the surveying of the extent of the physical damage is still ongoing which is understandable when the damage extends over 450 sq kilometers. It has already been reported as the worst fire in California’s history.
What is reported is that at least 1,236 structures have been destroyed with another 225 damaged. The existing ongoing hot conditions are expected for the area which will continue to enable active fire spread.
The US and California in particular has some of the best fire services in the world and containment efforts have made headway with Cal Fire (the fire service) reporting they have around 1/4 of the fire under containment.
The fire continues to pose an active threat to buildings of all types along with power and communications infrastructure. As you would expect evacuations remain in place.
I was in California last year and was staggered by the extent of the damage from the wildfires in September. Just how close it got to Los Angeles particularly surprised me.
What we do not need is a hurricane season like 2017 which along with the September California Wildfires, the earthquakes in Mexico, China and Turkey meant that 2017 was the second worst year in history when it comes to insurance claims. This, of course, has resulted in significant premium increases for some and a withdrawal from some risks.
We all need insurance but for all our sakes it needs to be affordable and sustainable. Somehow we keep struggling with this balance despite our long history.
Meanwhile my thoughts are with the emergency service personnel and those that have been affected by these latest fires.